Powers of the police in England and Wales

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The powers of the police in England and Wales are defined largely by statute law, with the main sources of power being the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the Police Act 1996. This article covers the powers of territorial police forces only but a constable in one of the UK's special police forces (most often a member of the British Transport Police) gains those powers while he/she is on loan to a territorial force or discovers an incident which is otherwise outside his/her statutory jurisdiction. In law, police powers are given to "constables" (both full-time and volunteer police officers). Some police powers are also available in more limited extent to Police Community Support Officers and Traffic Wardens (not to be confused with parking attendants) as such persons are also members of a police force.

There are several general powers constables have that normal members of the public do not, including :-

  • the power to detain people in connection with an offence
  • the limited power to stop and search people/vehicles in connection with offences (actual or suspected)
  • the power to arrest people without warrant for minor offences
  • the power to direct the behaviour of persons and vehicles on highways and in other public places

Mainly with respect to people behaving peaceably in public, the powers have various limits and generally require a clear reason for their exercise which must often be made known to a person threatened with arrest (as in the case of some Public Order Act offences where the offence involves disobeying an instruction from a constable to desist from behaving in a particular manner) or who has been arrested (a person is generally required to be informed of what wrong has led to the arrest).

Powers to stop and search can be extended on a limited (by place and duration) basis by legislation such as s.60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994[1] or ss.44-47 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Once a person has been arrested his/her vehicle or residence can be searched without the need for a warrant to be obtained for the purpose of obtaining evidence connected to the offence causing the arrest.

Source of powers[edit]

The basic powers of constables derive from the Police Act 1996, which covers attestation (section 29), jurisdiction (section 30) and a number of other matters.

Detention[edit]

There are three different types of detention:

  • detention without arrest,
  • detention after arrest (but before charge), and
  • detention after charge.

Detention without arrest[edit]

Detention without arrest is only permitted in certain circumstances, and is not a generally available power as in some other jurisdictions. In addition to the power to detain during a search (as described below) a constable may detain a person under the following provisions:

Section and Act Purpose Duration Notes
section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 for contempt of court until the court rises (end of the day) when ordered by the court
section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 people suffering from mental disorders in a public place and in immediate need of care or control for 72 hours commonly known as "being sectioned"
section 138 or section 18 of the Mental Health Act 1983 people who have absconded from detention under the Act to return them to lawful custody
section 118 of the County Courts Act 1984 for contempt of court until the court rises (end of the day) when ordered by the court
section 136 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 for non-payment of a fine until 8am the next morning when ordered by the court
section 21A of the Football Spectators Act 1989 to determine whether a football banning order should be made for four hours (six with permission of an Inspector) British citizens only[2]

Detention after arrest[edit]

Where a person is arrested for an offence, they will be taken to a police station. The Custody Officer at that police station must determine whether he has sufficient evidence to charge the detainee for the offence and may keep the detainee in custody until he can make this decision.[3] The Custody Officer has sufficient evidence if he has sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.[4] If the Custody Officer determines that he does have sufficient evidence, he must charge the person or release him.[3] If he determines he does not have enough evidence to charge him he must release him unless he has reasonable grounds for believing that his detention without being charged is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him.[3]

In terrorism cases, a person may be detained for a maximum of 28 days.[5] Otherwise (and subject to exceptions), a person may be detained for a maximum of 96 hours from the relevant time (normally the time an arrested person arrives at the first police station that he is taken to),[6] in line with the following restrictions:

Authorising person Test to be applied Requirement for review Maximum limit
Custody Officer
  • insufficient evidence to charge the arrested person and
  • reasonable grounds for believing that his detention without being charged is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him[7]
Review Officer[8]
  • insufficient evidence to charge the arrested person and
  • reasonable grounds for believing that his detention without being charged is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him[8]
6 hours after the decision to detain or 9 hours after the last review 24 hours from the relevant time[6]
Superintendent or above
  • the Review Officer has made two reviews
  • reasonable grounds for believing that
    • his detention without being charged is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him
    • offence for which he is under arrest is an indictable offence
    • investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously[9]
36 hours from the relevant time[9]
Magistrates' Court
  • application made on oath by a constable
  • satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that
    • his detention without charge is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him;
    • an offence for which he is under arrest is an indictable offence; and
    • the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously.[10]
The Magistrates' Court can only grant or extend a warrant for up to 36 hours. 96 hours from the relevant time[10]

On expiry of the time limit, the arrested person must be released, either on or without police bail[6] and may not be rearrested without warrant for the same offence unless new evidence has come to light since the original arrest.[6][9][10]

Detention after charge[edit]

Following charge, a person may be detained in custody pending their trial or during their trial before sentencing.

Immediately after charge, if the detainee is not released (either on police bail or without bail), he must be brought before a Magistrates' Court as soon as is practicable (first appearance).[11] From this point, the following time limits apply,[12] unless extended by the court:[13]

Offence type Mode of trial Limit in Magistrates' Court Limit in Crown Court
Summary only Summary trial First appearance to trial: 56 days
Either way Summary trial First appearance to trial: 56 days
Either way Trial on indictment First appearance to committal: 70 days Committal to trial: 112 days
Indictable only Trial on indictment Sent to Crown Court forthwith[14] Sent from Magistrates' Court to trial: 182 days

Treatment in detention[edit]

The treatment of suspects held in detention is governed by Code H to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in the case of suspects related to terrorism and by Code C in other cases. It is generally the responsibility of a designated Custody Officer to ensure that the provisions of the relevant Code and of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 are not breached.[15]

In particular, a person detained has the following rights; and must be informed of these rights at the earliest opportunity:

  • to have one friend or relative or other person who is known to him or who is likely to take an interest in his welfare told that he has been arrested and where he is being detained;[16] and
  • to consult a solicitor.[17]
  • three meals a day
  • drinks "on demand"
  • eight hours of sleep/rest a night
  • a clean cell

Some or all of these rights may be suspended in exceptional circumstances.

Search without warrant[edit]

Premises[edit]

A constable may enter and search any premises occupied or controlled by a person who is under arrest for an indictable offence, if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is on the premises evidence (other than items subject to legal privilege) that relates to that offence, or to some other indictable offence which is connected with or similar to that offence.[18] A constable also has the power, if a person has been arrested for an indictable offence, to enter and search any premises in which he was when arrested or immediately before s/he was arrested for evidence relating to the offence.[19]

People or vehicles[edit]

Search without arrest[edit]

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) was enacted to correct perceived problems with the implementation of the powers previously granted to the police, the Judges' rules. The 'sus' law allowed police to stop, search, and subsequently arrest a 'suspected person' without warrant. Due to perceived unfair implementation of this law within the black community, there were riots in some parts of the country in majority black areas (Brixton, Handsworth, Toxteth, Southall & Moss Side) in the early 1980s and "sus" was repealed in 1981.[20] The vast majority of search powers now require 'reasonable suspicion' of an offence to be present.[21] Constables cannot carry out 'consensual' searches of a person.[22]

Before searching anyone or anything (except an unattended vehicle), a constable in plain clothes must identify himself as a constable and show his warrant card or similar, and a constable (in uniform or otherwise) must state:[23]

  • the constable’s name and the name of the police station to which he is attached,
  • the reason for the search,
  • the grounds (in law) for the search, and
  • that a copy of the search form will be available on demand for twelve months.

Before searching an unattended vehicle, a constable must leave a notice (inside the vehicle unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so without damaging the vehicle) stating:[23]

  • that the vehicle has been searched,
  • the name of the police station to which the constable is attached,
  • that an application for compensation for any damage caused by the search may be made to that police station, and
  • that a copy of the search record will be available on demand (if one was made).

The above provisions do not apply to searches under section 6 of PACE or section 27(2) of the Aviation Security Act 1982, which both relate to vehicles leaving goods handling areas where searches are routine.[23]

A search without arrest is unlawful if it appears to the constable, after first detaining the person or vehicle, that the search is not required or it is impracticable.[23] A person or vehicle may be detained for the purposes of a search for as long as is reasonably required to permit a search to be carried out either at the place where the person or vehicle was first detained or nearby.[23] Whilst in public, a constable cannot require a person to remove any of his clothing other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves[23] (except in the case of a search under section 47A of the Terrorism Act 2000, which additionally permits the removal of footwear and headgear[24]). Recently a group of civil, academic and legal organisations have united to form StopWatch an organisation that aims to monitor the use of stop and search powers, reduce ethnic dis-proportionality and promote good practice in their deployment. The powers to search are as follows:

Section and Act Where What can be searched What it/they can be searched for Grounds for conducting the search Notes
Animals and game
section 2 of the Poaching Prevention Act 1862 any highway, street, or public place any person (or any person aiding or abetting such person) or vehicle unlawfully obtained game, or any gun, part of gun, or nets or engines used for the killing or taking game good cause to suspect of coming from any land where he shall have been unlawfully in search or pursuit of game
section 12 of the Deer Act 1991 anywhere any vehicle, animal, weapon or other thing evidence of the commission of an offence under the Act suspects with reasonable cause of committing or having committed an offence under the Act
section 4 of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 anywhere any vehicle or boat used by a person suspected to be committing an offence under the Act suspects with reasonable cause of committing an offence under the Act
section 11 of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 anywhere any person, vehicle or article evidence of the commission of an offence under the Act, or under the Badgers Act 1973 reasonable grounds for suspecting of committing an offence under the Act
Goods and other items
section 6 of the Public Stores Act 1875 anywhere any person, vessel, boat or vehicle stolen government property reason to suspect that stolen government property may be found Metropolitan Police constables only, unless specifically authorised
section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 anywhere any person or vehicle controlled drugs reasonable grounds to suspect that that person, or a person inside that vehicle, is in possession of controlled drugs
section 163 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 anywhere any vehicle, vessel or non-airborne aircraft goods which are:
  • chargeable with any duty which has not been paid or secured,
  • in the course of being unlawfully removed from or to any place, or
  • otherwise liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise Acts.
reasonable grounds to suspect the vehicle or vessel is carrying such goods
section 24B of the Aviation Security Act 1982 any aerodrome any person, vehicle or aircraft, or anything which is in or on a vehicle or aircraft stolen or prohibited articles reasonable grounds for suspecting the finding of stolen or prohibited articles meaning of "prohibited" given by subsection (5) of that section
section 27 (2) of the Aviation Security Act 1982 any cargo area of an aerodrome which is a designated airport any vehicle or aircraft and any goods carried by people (but does not include people) general power of inspection no need for suspicion
section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 a public place any person or vehicle, or anything which is in or on a vehicle reasonable grounds for suspecting the finding of such items commonly known as "stop and search"
section 7 of the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 anywhere any person, public service vehicle or train the person is committing or has committed an offence under the Act, or an offence under the Act is being committed or has been committed on the vehicle or train reasonable grounds to suspect the person is committing or has committed an offence under the Act offences under the Act include possession of alcohol or flares and being drunk on transport to football matches, or whilst in or attempting to enter the football ground
section 34B of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 anywhere any vehicle used to dump waste unlawfully general power of inspection reasonable belief that an unlawful dumping offence has been, is being or is about to be committed
Weapons
section 47 of the Firearms Act 1968 any public place any person or vehicle firearms or ammunition reasonable cause to suspect of possession
section 47 of the Firearms Act 1968 anywhere other than a public place any person or vehicle committing or being about to commit offences under section 18 and section 20 reasonable cause to suspect of committing or being about to commit such offences
section 4 of the Crossbows Act 1987 anywhere any person aged under 17 a crossbow (or part of) suspects with reasonable cause that a person has or has had a crossbow does not apply where that person is or was under the supervision of a person aged 21+
section 4 of the Crossbows Act 1987 anywhere any vehicle a crossbow (or part of) connected with an offence under section 3 of that Act suspects with reasonable cause that a person under 17 has or has had a crossbow does not apply where that person is or was under the supervision of a person aged 21+
section 139B of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 school premises the premises and any person on them offensive weapons or objects with blades or sharp points reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has or has had such an item on the premises
section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 anywhere specified by an authorisation any pedestrian (or anything carried by him) and any vehicle, its driver and any passenger offensive weapons or objects with blades or sharp points if an authorisation has been given under that section (no need for suspicion)
Terrorism
section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 anywhere any person evidence that that person is a terrorist (defined by section 40) reasonably suspects that person to be a terrorist
section 47A of the Terrorism Act 2000 anywhere specified by an authorisation a vehicle (including the driver of the vehicle, a passenger in the vehicle, anything in or on the vehicle or carried by the driver or a passenger) or a pedestrian (and anything carried by the pedestrian)

evidence that:

  • that vehicle is used for the purposes of terrorism, or
  • that person is a terrorist (defined by section 40)
if an authorisation has been given under that section (no need for suspicion)

Search after arrest[edit]

A constable may search a person who has been arrested (unless the arrest was at a police station) if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the arrested person may present a danger to himself or others.[19] A constable may also (unless the arrest was at a police station) search an arrested person for anything which he might use to assist him to escape from lawful custody, or which might be evidence relating to an offence.[19]

This power is given to officers by Section 32 of the Police and Criminal Evidence act 1984.

A constable may search a person arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether he has in his possession anything which may constitute evidence that he is a terrorist (defined by section 40).[25]

Searches in detention[edit]

The Custody Officer must record everything which an arrested person has with him at the police station and may search a person to the extent that he considers it necessary to do so, but may not conduct an intimate search for these purposes. The Custody Officer may seize anything, but may only seize clothes or personal effects if the Custody Officer:[26]

  • believes that the person from whom they are seized may use them:
    • to cause physical injury to himself or any other person,
    • to damage property,
    • to interfere with evidence,
    • to assist him to escape, or
  • has reasonable grounds for believing that they may be evidence relating to an offence.

An Inspector also has a limited power to order a search of an arrested person in order to facilitate establishing the identity of a person, particularly by discovering tattoos or other marks.[27] Where such a search requires more than the removal of the arrested person's outer clothing, the provisions of Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 relating to strip searches apply.

An intimate search is a search of the bodily orifices (other than the mouth). It should be conducted by a suitably qualified person unless this is impracticable and done in the presence of two other people. An intimate search requires the authorisation of an inspector and may only be made in one of the following circumstances:[28]

Condition Consent Place
The inspector reasonably believes
  • that the detainee has concealed on him anything he could use and might use in police detention or custody of the court to cause physical injury to himself or others; and
  • that the article in question cannot be found unless the detainee is intimately searched.
Consent is not necessary for the search to take place and reasonable force may be used to conduct the search. Police station, hospital, surgery or other medical premises.
The inspector reasonably believes
  • that the detainee may have a Class A drug concealed on him;
  • that the detainee was in possession of the drug before his arrest with intention to illegally supply or export it; and
  • that it cannot be found unless the detainee is intimately searched.
Consent for the search is necessary. If the detainee refuses to give consent, proper inferences may be drawn but force may not be used. Hospital, surgery or other medical premises.

Arrest without warrant[edit]

The only powers of detention that are available to a constable in England and Wales are discussed above. Therefore, when a person's liberty is deprived he is thus under arrest, and:

  • must be told that he is under arrest,[29] and
  • must be "told in simple, non-technical language that he could understand, the essential legal and factual grounds for his arrest".[30]

A person must be 'cautioned' when being arrested unless this is impractical due to the behaviour of the arrestee i.e. violence or drunkenness. The caution is:

You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you may later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.[31]

Deviation from this accepted form is permitted provided that the same information is conveyed.

There are three general means of arresting without warrant: firstly in relation to a criminal offence, secondly in relation to a breach of the peace and thirdly for miscellaneous purposes.

Criminal offences[edit]

Prior to 1967, the only general power of arrest for offences was that which existed for felonies.[32] In 1964, Home Secretary Rab Butler asked the Criminal Law Revision Committee to look into the distinction between felonies and misdemeanours, and their recommendation was that the distinction be abolished, as it was obsolete. As most powers of arrest relied on the offence being a felony, a new set of arrest criteria were introduced by the Criminal Law Act 1967, which created the arrestable offence (defined as an offence where an adult could be sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more).

These arrest powers were later re-enacted by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), which also created an alternative set of arrest criteria (the "general arrest criteria") which applied in particular circumstances, such as where the person's name or address were not known. As time went on, the number of offences that were defined as "arrestable" grew significantly, to the point where the distinction was becoming confusing and unworkable.

In 2005, the PACE powers of arrest were repealed by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, which also abolished the arrestable offence and instead replaced it with a need-tested system for arrest which applied to every offence.

A constable may therefore arrest (without a warrant):[33]

  • anyone who is about to commit an offence, or anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence,
  • anyone who is in the act of committing an offence, or anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence, and
  • anyone who is guilty of an offence or anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of an offence.

Additionally, if a constable suspects that an offence has been committed, then:[33]

  • anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.

Conditions[edit]

But a constable may only use the powers of arrest given above:[33]

  • to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person's name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name),
  • correspondingly as regards the person's address,
  • to prevent the person in question:
    • causing physical injury to himself or any other person,
    • suffering physical injury,
    • causing loss of or damage to property,
    • committing an offence against public decency (only where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question), or
    • causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
  • to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question,
  • to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question; or
  • to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.

Breach of the peace[edit]

Breach of the peace is one of the oldest, and most basic offences still in existence in England & Wales. It is an offence at common law, not codified, so it cannot be found in any act of Parliament. The power of arrest in relation to breach of the peace is available to anyone (regardless of whether they are a constable or not), who may arrest without warrant:[34]

  • any person who commits a breach of the peace in his presence, or
  • if they reasonably believe that a breach of the peace is about to occur or is imminent, any person in order to prevent that.

However, the Court of Appeal laid down the following conditions:[34]

  • there must be a real and present threat to the peace justifying depriving a citizen, not acting unlawfully at the time, of his liberty,
  • the threat must come from the person arrested,
  • the conduct must clearly interfere with the rights of others and its natural consequence must be not wholly unreasonable violence from a third party, and
  • the conduct of the person arrested must be unreasonable.

Other powers of arrest[edit]

There are few powers of arrest without warrant where an offence is not either known or suspected to have been committed. A constable may arrest a person:

Absconding or going AWOL
  • who he has reasonable cause to suspect of being:
who has deserted or is absent without leave,
  • who is unlawfully at large from a civilian prison, secure accommodation or young offenders institution[38] or military prison,[39][40][41]
  • who has failed to answer bail[42][43] or street bail,[44]
  • who has absconded whilst on remand for a report on their mental condition,[45] on remand for treatment[46] or subject to an interim hospital order[47] under the Mental Health Act 1983,
  • who has absconded whilst being transferred to or from the United Kingdom under a prisoner transfer agreement,[48] or
  • who has absconded from a place of safety to which he has been taken under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 or from local authority accommodation in which he is required to live, or to which he has been remanded or committed.[49]
Alcohol and driving
  • who has provided a positive sample of breath (or has failed to provide any sample at all) under the Road Traffic or Transport and Works Acts,[50][51] or
  • who:[52]
    • has been required to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine under section 7 or section 7A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (that is to say, an evidential, not a preliminary breath test)
    • the constable believes is over the prescribed limit or is unfit to drive, and
    • is likely to drive or attempt to drive a vehicle.
Other powers
  • to take fingerprints after a conviction[53]
  • who has failed to comply with a conditional caution,[54]
  • who has committed an offence against bylaws made under the Military Lands Act 1892,[55]
  • who he reasonably suspects of being a "terrorist".[note 1][56]

Entry[edit]

A constable has the power, at common law, to enter premises to deal with or prevent a breach of the peace.[57] A constable may also enter and search any premises for the purpose:[57]

  • of executing:
  • of arresting a person for an indictable offence,
  • of arresting a person for an offence under:
  • of arresting, in pursuance of section 32(1A) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, any child or young person who has been remanded or committed to local authority accommodation under section 23(1) of that Act,
  • of arresting a person for an offence to which section 61 of the Animal Health Act 1981 (transportation etc. of animals during rabies outbreak) applies,
  • of recapturing any person who is, or is deemed for any purpose to be, unlawfully at large while liable to be detained:
    • in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution or secure training centre, or
    • in pursuance of section 92 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing ) Act 2000 (dealing with children and young persons guilty of grave crimes), in any other place,
  • of recapturing any person whatever who is unlawfully at large and whom he is pursuing, or
  • of saving life or limb or preventing serious damage to property.

A constable also has the power to enter any place in order to carry out a search under section 47 of the Firearms Act 1968.[58]

Other powers[edit]

Road checks[edit]

A uniformed constable may stop any vehicle at any time under section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. However, if a constable wishes, for one of the reasons given below, to stop all vehicles or certain vehicles selected by any criterion, then they must do so under the power granted by section 4 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.[59] A road check is normally only authorised by a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above, in which case the restrictions given in the second column apply.[59] However, if it appears to an officer below the rank of superintendent that a road check is required (for one of the reasons below) as a matter of urgency, then he may authorise it himself.[59] In this case, the conditions given in the second column do not apply.[59]

Reason Conditions for authorisation by superintendent
a person who has committed an offence (other than a road traffic offence or a vehicle excise offence) if he has reasonable grounds:
  • for believing that the offence is an indictable offence, and
  • for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in the locality in which vehicles would be stopped if the road check were authorised
a person who is a witness to an offence (other than a road traffic offence or a vehicle excise offence) if he has reasonable grounds for believing that the offence is an indictable offence
a person intending to commit an offence (other than a road traffic offence or a vehicle excise offence) if he has reasonable grounds:
  • for believing that the offence would be an indictable offence, and
  • for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in the locality in which vehicles would be stopped if the road check were authorised
a person who is unlawfully at large if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in that locality.

If an officer below the rank of superintendent gives authorisation, it must be referred to a superintendent as soon as it is practicable to do so.[59] Where a superintendent gives authorisation for a road check, he:[59]

  • must specify a period, not exceeding seven days, during which the road check may continue, and
  • may direct that the road check shall be continuous, or shall be conducted at specified times during that period.

If it appears to an officer of the rank of superintendent or above that a road check ought to continue beyond the period for which it has been authorised he may specify a further period, not exceeding seven days, during which it may continue.[59]

In addition to the powers to conduct road checks given above, the police have a common law power to set up road checks and search vehicles stopped at them in order to prevent a breach of the peace.[34]

Removal of disguises[edit]

Under section 60AA Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, if:[60]

  • an authorisation under section 60 of the Act (searching for weapons) is on force, or
  • an inspector issues an authorisation under section 60AA on the grounds that he reasonably believes that:[60]
    • activities are going to take place in a certain part of his police area,
    • those activities will involve offences being committed, and
    • to prevent or control those offences it is necessary to order the removal of disguises,

then a constable in uniform can:[60]

  • require a person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity, and
  • seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose.

Authorisations apply to one locality only, last for 24 hours, and the inspector who gives them must inform a superintendent as soon as possible.[60] A superintendent can extend the authorisation for a further 24 hours.[60] Failure to remove a disguise when required is an offence.[60]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the Terrorism Act 2000, "terrorist" means a person who has committed an offence under any of sections 11, 12, 15 to 18, 54 and 56 to 63 of that Act, or who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. "Terrorism" has the meaning given by section 1 of that Act.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ section 21C, Football Spectators Act 1989
  3. ^ a b c section 39, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  4. ^ Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, para 11.5
  5. ^ Schedule 8, Terrorism Act 2000
  6. ^ a b c d section 41, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  7. ^ section 37, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  8. ^ a b section 40, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  9. ^ a b c section 42, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  10. ^ a b c sections 43 and 44 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  11. ^ section 46, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  12. ^ SI 1987 No. 299. Prosecution of Offences (Custody Time-limits) Regulations 1987
  13. ^ On the basis that the prosecution has acted with all due diligence and expedition and there is good and sufficient cause for doing so: section 22, Prosecution of Offences Act 1985
  14. ^ section 51, Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  15. ^ section 39, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  16. ^ section 56, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  17. ^ section 58, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  18. ^ section 18, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  19. ^ a b c section 32, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  20. ^ Criminal Attempts Act 1981
  21. ^ "Stop and Search". Home Office. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984: Code A". Home Office. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f section 2, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  24. ^ Schedule 6B to the Terrorism Act 2000, as inserted by Schedule 1 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (Remedial) Order 2011
  25. ^ section 40, Terrorism Act 2000
  26. ^ section 54, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  27. ^ section 54A, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  28. ^ section 55, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  29. ^ section 28, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  30. ^ Taylor v Thames Valley Police [2004] EWCA Civ 858, [2004] 1 WLR 3155, [2004] 3 All ER 503 (6 July 2004), Court of Appeal
  31. ^ Code G to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, para. 3.5.
  32. ^ Criminal Law Revision Committee. Seventh report. Felonies and misdemeanours (1964-65 Cmnd. 2659)
  33. ^ a b c section 24A, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  34. ^ a b c English, Jack; Card, Richard (2005), Police Law (Ninth ed.), Blackstone's Police Books, ISBN 0-19-928405-9 
  35. ^ section 105, Naval Discipline Act 1957
  36. ^ section 186, Air Force Act 1955
  37. ^ section 186, Army Act 1955
  38. ^ section 49, Prison Act 1952
  39. ^ section 104, Naval Discipline Act 1957
  40. ^ section 190B, Air Force Act 1955
  41. ^ section 190B, Army Act 1955
  42. ^ section 46A, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  43. ^ section 7, Bail Act 1976
  44. ^ section 30D, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  45. ^ section 37, Mental Health Act 1983
  46. ^ section 36, Mental Health Act 1983
  47. ^ section 38, Mental Health Act 1983
  48. ^ section 5, Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984
  49. ^ section 32, Children and Young Persons Act 1969
  50. ^ section 30, Transport and Works Act 1992
  51. ^ section 6D, Road Traffic Act 1988
  52. ^ section 10, Road Traffic Act 1988
  53. ^ section 27, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  54. ^ section 24A, Criminal Justice Act 2003
  55. ^ section 17, Military Lands Act 1892
  56. ^ section 41, Terrorism Act 2000
  57. ^ a b section 17, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  58. ^ section 47 of the Firearms Act 1968
  59. ^ a b c d e f g section 4, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  60. ^ a b c d e f 60AA, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

External links[edit]

  • Directgov Being stopped, questioned or arrested by the police (Directgov, England and Wales)